Purpose – This paper explores how exaptive innovation process might be considered a useful innovation model in constraint-based environments. Through an in-depth case study, it illustrates clearly the antecedents of exaptation processes, which are particularly relevant in rapidly changing environments requiring new solutions under time and resource constraints. Design/methodology/approach – The authors adopt a single case study approach that is particularly suitable in case of an inductive research design, which is required because of the novelty of the topic. The research is inspired by the use of the snorkeling mask EASYBREATH, commercialized by the giant Decathlon, as a medical device, a respirator to treat patients affected by coronavirus in Italy. The authors organized the evidence according to a novel taxonomy grounded in the literature. Findings – The case study stimulates reflections on the existence of some antecedents to the exaptive innovation process in constraint-based environments: (1) the availability of specific actors in the innovation process; (2) the creation of platforms of interaction between people with different competences, nurtured by collective bottom-up financing systems; (3) the role of the community of makers, in particular, and of the 4th industrial revolution, in general, for creating enabling technologies; (4) multidisciplinary individual background of key actors in the innovation process is crucial to ensure the exaptive path to be in place. Research limitations/implications – This work has some limitations, due to the choice of limiting the analysis to a single case, nevertheless, it offers a first glance on a new technological trajectory available in constraint-based environments. Originality/value – The case study results underline the importance of new digital collaboration platforms as knowledge multipliers, and illuminate on the potential of the fourth manufacturing revolution, which, through new technologies, creates opportunities for distributed forms of innovation that cross long distances.

Exaptive innovation in constraint-based environments: lessons from COVID-19 crisis

Blasi, Silvia;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Purpose – This paper explores how exaptive innovation process might be considered a useful innovation model in constraint-based environments. Through an in-depth case study, it illustrates clearly the antecedents of exaptation processes, which are particularly relevant in rapidly changing environments requiring new solutions under time and resource constraints. Design/methodology/approach – The authors adopt a single case study approach that is particularly suitable in case of an inductive research design, which is required because of the novelty of the topic. The research is inspired by the use of the snorkeling mask EASYBREATH, commercialized by the giant Decathlon, as a medical device, a respirator to treat patients affected by coronavirus in Italy. The authors organized the evidence according to a novel taxonomy grounded in the literature. Findings – The case study stimulates reflections on the existence of some antecedents to the exaptive innovation process in constraint-based environments: (1) the availability of specific actors in the innovation process; (2) the creation of platforms of interaction between people with different competences, nurtured by collective bottom-up financing systems; (3) the role of the community of makers, in particular, and of the 4th industrial revolution, in general, for creating enabling technologies; (4) multidisciplinary individual background of key actors in the innovation process is crucial to ensure the exaptive path to be in place. Research limitations/implications – This work has some limitations, due to the choice of limiting the analysis to a single case, nevertheless, it offers a first glance on a new technological trajectory available in constraint-based environments. Originality/value – The case study results underline the importance of new digital collaboration platforms as knowledge multipliers, and illuminate on the potential of the fourth manufacturing revolution, which, through new technologies, creates opportunities for distributed forms of innovation that cross long distances.
Exaptation
KIBS
Innovation
EASYBREATH
3D-printing (3DP)
Crisis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1061076
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